Internet nerd tests may not be all that accurates

By John Toth / Bulletin Publisher

I took a test the other day on the Internet to see if I’m a nerd. The closest I could come is a nerd wannabe. Out of a score of 100, I only got up to 38 on the nerd scale.

I thought I would score higher because I my friends have told me that I am sort of ... nerdy.

I need to take a test to see if I am a news nerd, which I think I am – a big one. I’d probably score nearly 100 on that test. I guess I’m in the right business.

I used to be one of the biggest nerds on my block growing up. When I was 11, I stuck a knife in the back of my neighbor’s TV set and almost gave the poor woman a heart attack.

I guess it looked bad – a kid holding a knife and turning something on the back of a big TV. She probably had visions that I would light up like a neon sign and drop to the ground.

I was merely adjusting the vertical hold to stabilize the picture so it would not roll up and down. I couldn’t find a screw driver, so I used a knife.

I was able to set it just before she grabbed the knife out of my hand and started screaming. But her TV was now working fine, and I could watch one of those dumb shows I liked so much in color. We only had a small black and white set back in the late ‘60s.

My daughter sort of tried to walk in my nerdy footsteps when she was only 4 years old by shoving a pencil into my computer’s floppy drive in 1997.

“I fixed it, daddy.”

Almost. She knocked out the drive before I had a chance to transfer all the copy for the next issue from the floppy disk to the hard drive, and I was on deadline.

I should have seen my own face, but I couldn’t.

I relied on my nerdy past to quickly hunt down another floppy drive and install it in time to finish the layout. All you older types are probably laughing. All you young readers are probably asking: “What’s a floppy drive?”

Being a nerd as a kid also helped to relieve boredom. The day after we got our first touch-tone phone installed I was so bored that when my mother was at work I took the phone apart and laid every piece out on the dining room table for her to see when she came home.

I thought it was quite an achievement. She had a different reaction than I expected. Her face turned red. Her voice rose until I didn’t have any trouble hearing her, and even the neighbors could hear her clearly.
“If you want to make a call, you’’ll have to talk to the table,” I said.

She didn’t think it was funny.

I re-assembled the phone in about 20 minutes, and it was as good as new. But at least I knew what it looked like on the inside, and I wasn’t bored anymore.

Too bad we have to grow up and lose some of the nerdy kid qualities like taking a transistor radio out of the trash and finding out what’s wrong with it - even if it takes days.

Wait a minute. I just bought some junk laptops on eBay and and brought them back to life. Maybe the nerd test is wrong. Now I’ve got to find a news nerd test on the Internet. It may take a while, but what’s time when you’re on a mission? Let’s see, there’s the Justin Bieber death test, the Zombie Apocalypse survival test, the SpongeBob fan test, the how cool are you test ... This may take a while.